OUR MONKS SERVING IN INDIA
Swami Shuddhananda Giri
A dynamic and advanced disciple of Gurudev Paramahamsa Hariharanandaji, Swami Shuddhananda Giri was formerly an engineer in his worldly life. From the days of his childhood, he cherished an intense desire for spiritual knowledge; thus it was not unusual to find him meditating or studying the various scriptures of the world. When he was yet a young man in his early twenties, his fervent desire for Truth led him to the holy feet of his Master, who initiated him into the monastic order in 1995, the same day our beloved Guruji Paramahamsa Prajnananandaji was christened as a monk in Kolkata by Shri Gurudev. After taking his vows, he then went to Yuktashram, Bhisindipur, to do intense sadhana and meditate, as directed by beloved Gurudev.
Swami Shuddhanandaji is a highly regarded as a world teacher of Kriya Yoga. He has traveled extensively around the world, conducting Kriya Yoga programs and delivering discourses on various scriptures and philosophy.
Swamiji served Prajnana Mission as Secretary of Prajnana Mission from 1999 until 2006, as Vice President from 2006 to 2008, and as President from 2008 to January 2015.
Swami Samarpanananda Giri
Before taking his monastic vows, Swami Samarpanananda was known as Suresh Chandra Mishra. Swamiji is a former professor of Political Science who was popular and well respected among his students and his peers alike in a number of schools and colleges in Odisha. His unique way of teaching and excellent command over the subject matter amazed many minds during his tenure. While a professor, he was sought out as an extemporaneous speaker, and even today he astonishes his listeners by way of his sheer intelligence. From early childhood he was a brahmachari; living an austere and disciplined life. It was only after fulfilling all his duties towards his family ― mother, father, brothers, and sisters ― that he embraced monastic life.
Swamiji met his beloved Gurudev Paramahamsa Hariharanandaji in 1982, and was subsequently initiated into Kriya Yoga. Thereafter, he practiced Kriya Yoga with awareness and strict discipline, the principles he had applied throughout his life. However, it was his deep desire for renunciation and his longing to serve society, especially the youth that brought him to Hariharananda Gurukulam in Balighai, near Puri in Odisha. In 2004, he was initiated into the monastic order by His Holiness Paramahamsa Prajnananandaji and was thus given the name Swami Samarpanananda Giri. As the name indicates, he has devoted his entire life to guiding others on the path of spiritual enlightenment. Hence he has traversed the length and breadth of India many times, spreading the message of his masters and coordinating and conducting Kriya Yoga programs in India and abroad. He is a firm believer in the path of love and devotion, truthfulness and honesty, and love for mother, motherland, and humankind.
Swamiji currently resides in Hariharananda Gurukulam. He has served as Secretary of Prajnana Mission from 2006 until 2011 and as the Vice President of Prajnana Mission until 2014. He is also Vice President of Hariharananda Kriya Yoga Mission at Sambalpur and Secretary of the Hariharananda Kriya Yoga Mission, Jadavpur, Kolkota. Additionally he is actively associated with the management of Yuktashram at Bhisindipur and Hariharananda Balashram at Arua. Swami Samarpananandaji frequently travels around the globe, visiting Europe, United Kingdom, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, as well as other countries, guiding and assisting the students of Kriya Yoga, inspiring all seekers to follow the spiritual path of meditation and love.
Swami Sadhanananda Giri
Yogacharya Samir Chakravarty was initiated into Kriya Yoga in May, 1968, at the Karar Ashram in Puri. He lives as a householder in Kolkata, India, with his wife, Lily, and he has a daughter, Nandini Bhowmam. He earned an M.A. in Social Work, a degree in Training and Development, and he currently works as a sales tax consultant. He began serving the Kriya mission as a yogacharya in 1982 and now initiates, teaches, and translates guru's books, and hosts Kriya seminars. He feels we would benefit from getting together more frequently so we could learn from each other.
Swami Arupananda Giri
Previously known as Brahmachari Shivananda, he began serving Paramahamsa Hariharananda in 1985 at the Rourkela Meditation Center, and continues his service now at Hariharananda Gurukulam in Balighai. In 1996, he was initiated into monkhood and was named Swami Arupananda. He went to the West in 2001 and traveled to many countries in Europe and cities in the USA.
Swami Arupananda received Gurudev's grace and affection in many ways. His simplicity and love accompanied with hard work and service is an inspiration to others. He currently resides in Hariharananda Gurukulam guiding meditation.
Swami Nirgunananda Giri
Swami Apurvananda Giri
Jugal Sahoo was born into a family of farmers in a little hamlet near the Cuttack district of Orissa, India. As a child, he flourished in the natural beauty of the rural environment. Jugal grew up under the attentive care of his parents, who instructed him in the traditional Indian values and the rich heritage of Indian scriptures, which shaped his character.
Even at a young age, Jugal had an innate longing to lead a monastic life. He once left his home to live at an ashram. However, after a short time, at the request of his parents, he obediently returned to their farm and continued helping his father. Upon becoming a young man he lived the life of a householder, performing his duties faithfully as a husband and a father.
In 1973 his long pursuit for a spiritual master was rewarded when he met Paramahamsa Hariharananda at the Karar Ashram in Puri and was initiated by him into Kriya Yoga. For many years he visited the ashram, taking part in the annual Foundation Day celebrations and receiving the holy darshan of his guru. At the mahasamadhi of his beloved Gurudev, in 2002, his life was once again blessed when he met his master, Paramahamsa Prajnanananda.
The longing to lead a monastic life never diminished; so, in 2004, at the age of sixty-five, he left the comforts of home to become an ashram resident. Humble, meek, and dutiful, he began living a simple life with little or no needs, while selflessly working in the kitchen and ashram temples.
On February 23, 2009, he was initiated into the monastic order by his master, Paramahamsa Prajnanananda, and was renamed Swami Apurvananda Giri, which means the "bliss of uniqueness." Serving his master with love and devotion, he currently resides at Hariharananda Gurukulam, in Balighai, Orissa, India.
Swami Nirvikarananda Giri
Swami Swatantratananda Giri
Swami Paripurnananda Giri
Swami Paripurnananda Giri was born and raised in a traditional Indian family in the lush green hamlet of Kesula Gopalpur, in the Cuttack District of Orissa, India. The natural inclination to tread the spiritual path was first nurtured by his mother and, in later years, encouraged by his school teachers. While pursuing his degree in engineering, he met Paramahamsa Hariharananda at the Jagatpur Ashram in 1995. After meeting this great master, his quest for God was intensified and, about a year later, he was initiated into Kriya Yoga at the Rourkela Ashram. In 1996 he had the opportunity to practice Kriya Yoga meditation in the holy company of Paramahamsa Hariharananda at the Rourkela Ashram. Filled with inspiration, he returned to worldly life and, with even greater determination, he continued in his practice of Kriya Yoga meditation, while pursuing his service in an Indian Public Sector at Rourkela.
Years later, he quit his job and underwent training in the first Residential Brahmachari Training Course in Hariharananda Gurukulam, in the year 2002. There he spent time studying Sanskrit and scriptures, under the direct guidance of Paramahamsa Prajnanananda and other senior monks. Upon completion of the training course, he remained at Hariharananda Gurukulam, becoming a resident brahmachari. This decision allotted him the opportunity to dive, yet even deeper, into the vast ocean of Kriya Yoga mediation and the study of Holy Scriptures. Swami Paripurnananda thrived in the spiritually vibrant atmosphere of Hariharananda Gurukulam, while in the constant company of many monks and spiritual scholars, who are drawn by the holy environment of this ashram.
On the 18th of February, 2004, he was initiated into naishtika brahmacharya by his preceptor, Paramahamsa Prajnanananda. He had the rare opportunity to serve his master during the centenary celebrations of Paramahamsa Hariharananda, from 2006 to 2007. On February 23, 2009, he was initiated into monkhood, by Paramahamsa Prajnanananda, and given the name of Swami Paripurnananda Giri, which means 'one who is absorbed in the bliss of completeness.' Currently he is serving his master in the different ashrams and centers of India, organizing Kriya Yoga programs, guiding meditations, and teaching the technique of Kriya Yoga meditation to all who come in search of Truth.
Swami Nityapremananda Giri
Pramod Kumar Behera was born in 1970, in the village of Hemantpatana, in the Nayagarh District of Orissa, India. He was raised in the nurturing atmosphere of his industrious and pious parents; this provided him with a strong moral character and a firm spiritual foundation on which to build his life. As a young boy, his parents taught him the importance of making the best use of his time and learning all the necessary skills to become a happy, efficient, and productive member of the community. These simple lessons made a deep impression on Pramod and, through lifelong practice, he has understood their wisdom.
While pursuing his college degree, he came into contact with Shri Triloki Dash (now known as Paramahamsa Prajnanananda), who was, at that time, a lecturer of Economics at the school he was attending. Little did he know how that momentous meeting would impact his life.
After obtaining his Master's degree in the Oriya language, he entered law school. Profoundly influenced by Mother Teresa, it was Pramod's wish to serve those afflicted with leprosy. Hoping to raise funds for this noble cause, he met with Paramahamsa Prajnanananda at the Jagatpur Ashram. This was a pivotal turning point in his life. Instead of returning to the world to serve a small facet of mankind, he decided to remain at the ashram and dedicate his life to serving the entire humanity. Pramod took Kriya Yoga initiation from his master in February 2000. Then, in February 2004, he was initiated into naishtika brahmacharya and given the name Brahmachari Nityananda, which means "constant bliss."
Five years later, on the auspicious Shivaratri (23 February 2009), he received the monk's initiation and was given the new name Swami Nityapremanandaji, which means "one who is absorbed in the bliss of eternal love." He is currently serving his master while working in the Kriya Yoga publications division, translating English works into the Oriya language, and compiling articles for Tarane Nauka (the quarterly magazine written in the Oriya language). Swami Nityapremananda Giri also travels to many different centers, guiding meditations and conducting Kriya programs.
Swami Gurusevananda Giri
In 1977, Sadhu Haibru was born into a very devout and humble family in the small hamlet of Sapuapada, in the foothills of Gadoodi in Jajpur District of Orissa, India. While growing up, his mother lovingly served and cared for the many monks that were welcomed into their home. It was Sadhu's good fortune to be a recipient of the blessings that came from these monks, as a result of his mother's kindness and generosity. Little did his mother know that years later her little Sadhu would one day become a sadhu (monk).
When his mother became ill, he made the decision to leave school and seek employment so he could pay for her medications. A few years later, after his mother passed away, Sadhu left his home and moved to Cuttack. He had often heard stories of the Jagatpur Ashram, which is located there, and planned a visit shortly after his arrival.
Upon reaching the ashram, Sadhu felt an immediate attraction to ashram life. After this visit, he still maintained his job in the city; however, the rest of his time was dedicated to serving God and masters at the ashram. Then, one day a Swami at the ashram took him to visit Hariharananda Gurukulam, the ashram in Balaghai, and the famous Jagannath Temple. This experience ignited the flame of divine love in his heart, soon after he left his job in the city to serve in Jagatpur Ashram fulltime. Sadhu worked very hard in the ashram, tending to whatever was needed, often not even taking the time to rest. Then three years later he was initiated into Kriya Yoga by his spiritual preceptor, Paramahamsa Prajnanananda, and continued living and serving and meditating in the ashram.
In 2002, upon the advice of his master he underwent the Residential Brahmachari Training Course at Hariharananda Gurukulam. In February of 2004, he was initiated into naishtika brahmacharya and given the name Brahmachari Sevananda, which means "the bliss of serving." Five years later, on the auspicious Shivaratri, Brahmachari Sevananda was initiated into monkhood by his master and given the name of Swami Gurusevananda Giri, which means "one who is absorbed in the bliss of loving service to the guru." Blessed with a sweet, meek, and humble nature, Swamiji continues to serve his master in the many different Kriya Yoga ashrams throughout India.
Swami Vairagyananda Giri
Swami Muktipriyananda Giri
Swami Dhyananishthananda Giri
Swami Vijnanananda Giri
Swami Paramananda Giri
Swami Devapriyananda Giri
Swami Vishwatmananda Giri
Swami Brahmajnanananda Giri
Swami Achalananda Giri
Swami Gurukrupananda Giri
Anita Patnaik was born in the city of Cuttack in Orissa, India. Her father, Shriram Patnaik, was highly educated and his contribution in the field of education, even to this day, is widely acclaimed in the state of Orissa. Having lost her mother at the age of three, she was lovingly brought up by her father. Shy and reserved by nature, little Anita loved her pious father and silently absorbed his noble qualities.
Years later, during the early 1980's, she met Gurudev Baba Paramahamsa Hariharanandaji. Drawn by the spiritual charisma of this great saint, she took initiation into Kriya Yoga from him shortly after their first meeting. Gurudev's love for her was immense. During his visits to India, she had the rare opportunity to serve and lovingly care for him. She also met Triloki Dash (now known as Paramahamsa Prajnanananda) at that time.
After Gurudev's mortal departure, during his centenary celebrations, Anita was empowered as a yogacharya. She began initiating and teaching the techniques of Kriya Yoga to the many aspirants in India. Then, on February 23, 2009, she was initiated into the monastic order by her master, Paramahamsa Prajnananandaji, and was given the new name Swami Gurukrupananda Giri, which means one who is absorbed in the bliss of guru's grace.
Swami Gurukrupanandaji lives in the various ashrams in India and serves her master by initiating aspirants, conducting Kriya programs, and participating in the Executive Committee meetings of Prajnana Mission. In 2015, Swamiji became the President of Prajnana Mission. Swamiji advises others to "serve the guru and practice your sadhana sincerely—keeping immense faith in the Almighty." She also states that the transformational effect of Kriya Yoga has given her "immense mental peace, stability, and calmness" in her daily life.
Swami Samtruptananda Giri
Yogacharya Shakuntala Pandya is lovingly referred to by Kriya students as Ma. She first met Paramahamsa Hariharananda in Jagannath Puri in 1976. In July of that year, Gurudev initiated her into Kriya Yoga. Since that time, she has been assisting spiritual seekers on the path of Kriya Yoga.
Yogacharya Shakuntala Pandya is married and is the mother of five children. Along with her duties as a homemaker, she is active in community service and is skilled in acupressure.
She was initiated into the monastic order by our beloved Guruji, Paramahamsa Prajnananandaji during the auspicious day of Guru Poornima on 12 July 2014 and was given the new name of Swami Samtruptananda Giri.
Following the path of Kriya Yoga has been a life changing experience for her. Throughout the day she is blessed with inner peace and abundant energy. She wishes that all people would learn Kriya Yoga and receive the divine benefits of this wonderful technique.